Microsoft’s Atlas and Interpublic Group Ink Agreement on North American Ad-Serving Platform

REDMOND, Wash. — Feb. 9, 2010 — Microsoft Corp. and Interpublic Group (IPG), one of the world’s largest advertising holding companies, today announced they have entered into a partnership agreement in which IPG will designate Microsoft’s Atlas as a preferred ad-server solution. The agreement covers IPG’s North American agencies and puts into place preferred pricing agreements for Atlas enterprise technology for IPG clients, while Microsoft will benefit from increased opportunities for collaboration between the two companies.

Atlas ad-serving technology enables agencies to manage, track, optimize and unify their online media marketing campaigns across display banners, rich media, search, video and Web sites. According to industry estimates, IPG companies manage $30 billion in global media billings for their clients.

The agreement between IPG and Microsoft builds on a strategic relationship announced at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival in June 2009. The foundation for that agreement was a partnership between IPG’s global media planning and buying unit, Mediabrands, and Microsoft to jointly develop technologies and solutions that will streamline the way digital media is planned and bought.

“IPG has long been considered a bellwether in the advertising industry, and to be selected as a preferred ad-serving partner in North America is something that we’re extremely proud of,” said Scott Howe, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s Advertiser & Publisher Solutions group. “This development demonstrates that in the rapidly changing world of digital marketing, Microsoft is deepening its relationships with ad agencies, and that we’re walking the talk when it comes to partnering with agencies for the benefit of their clients.”

Currently, Microsoft and IPG are launching a companywide introduction of Atlas to IPG’s North American agencies. This rollout includes in-person demonstrations and webinars, as well as training and integration. IPG agencies in North America include media companies Initiative and UM, which have extensive relationships with Microsoft and Atlas, as well as integrated agencies such as Deutsch Inc., a Lowe & Partners Company; Hill Holliday; The Martin Agency; and McCann Erickson, as well as digital specialists such as R/GA, HUGE and ID Media.

Among the factors that Atlas uses to differentiate itself from other ad-serving solutions currently available in the market are these:

  • Holistic data management through its proprietary Engagement Mapping technology that allows advertisers to have visibility into the entire digital conversion path from the first ad clicked to the final purchase

  • Open platform for integrated reporting with media specialty companies such as rich media vendors, search tools, and others as part of the Atlas Technology Partner Alliance (ATPA)

  • The ability to integrate ad-serving technologies with other technologies offered by Microsoft, such as Microsoft SharePoint Server, which provides scalable and customizable data visualization and reporting

About Interpublic

Interpublic is one of the world’s leading organizations of advertising agencies and marketing services companies. Major global brands include Draftfcb, FutureBrand, GolinHarris International, Initiative, Jack Morton Worldwide, Lowe Worldwide, Magna, McCann Erickson, Momentum, MRM Worldwide, Octagon, UM and Weber Shandwick. Leading domestic brands include Campbell-Ewald; Campbell Mithun; Carmichael Lynch; Deutsch, a Lowe & Partners Company; Hill Holliday; Mullen; The Martin Agency and R/GA. For more information, please visit www.interpublic.com.

About Microsoft Advertising

Microsoft Advertising provides advertisers and publishers with media, tools and services to help drive deep and profitable engagement with their audiences. This includes a media network that reaches over 164 million consumers around the world; global technology platforms and tools that enable easy planning and management of campaigns and content; and services that help untangle the complexities of digital media to get more value from marketing and content investments. Microsoft Advertising makes buying and selling media simple, smart and cost-effective across media and devices in the Microsoft network of properties and beyond. More information is available at http://advertising.microsoft.com.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

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